UK

UK soldier jailed for rape of six-year-old girl in Austria

Michael Sturmey Image copyright Reuters

A British soldier has been sentenced to nine years in prison for raping a six-year-old girl in Austria.

Michael Sturmey, 30, was arrested on 29 November last year in the town of Neustift, in the Tyrol province, where he had been attending an army camp.

Sturmey, from Colchester Garrison, admitted entering the girl's unlocked family home while drunk and raping her, a court spokesman in Innsbruck said.

An MoD spokesman said an application would be made to discharge the soldier.

Sturmey's lawyers said he planned to appeal against the sentence.

The soldier had been found in the girl's bedroom, by her father who had been awoken by the noise, prosecutors in Austria said.

Police arrested the man in front of the victim's house.

"We can confirm that a British soldier has been convicted in Austria of the rape of a minor and assault of a state authority and sentenced to nine years' imprisonment," the MoD spokesman said.

"In line with normal procedure when a soldier is sentenced to imprisonment, an application will be made for his discharge from the Army."

Colchester Garrison would not confirm the soldier's name.

"We are not prepared to release any personal information about this individual," a statement said.

"We have a common law and Data Protection Act duty to protect the personal information of our employees and there is no good reason to release personal information in this case."

Correction 24 July 2015: This story has been amended to change the name of the defendant, which was supplied incorrectly by a news agency.

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